International exchanges have, in fact, been a cornerstone of university life ever since the first such institutions of higher learning were founded in the Middle Ages, and over the centuries this mobility has been crucial for the development of knowledge. Well-developed international cooperation is a prerequisite for excellent academic environments.

In conjunction with its strategy work, Stockholm University has also developed a separate, long-term plan for its internationalisation work, Global Engagement, which describes the trajectory for future work. These include developing the preconditions for international recruitment, mobility and cooperation, as well as a greater presence in international research and educational arenas. Today we have our priority strategic partner universities – namely, Helsinki and Tokyo – and we are also active in numerous international networks. Two examples about which I have previously written are CIVIS, which just applied for pilot funding under the EU call for submissions for the European Universities Initiative, and the Swedish-American CALIE, launched in Washington DC in February.

Increased activity within international networks is important both for our visibility as a university and to the promotion of our student and researcher exchanges. This demands a great deal of engagement on the part of our senior management. I have therefore appointed Karin Bergmark, Professor of Sociology and former Deputy Vice President for Humanities and Social Sciences, as my Senior Advisor on International Affairs. Karin has an important job ahead of her. In close collaboration with Maria Wikse, coordinator of international affairs, and her team at the Research Support Office, Karin will work to further develop and strengthen Stockholm University's international profile.